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game recap

Kuznetsov, Capitals rally past Oilers

Center scores two of five straight goals, Ovechkin has three assists

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Evgeny Kuznetsov scored two goals, and Alex Ovechkin had three assists for the Washington Capitals in a come-from-behind 5-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday.

Devante Smith-Pelly, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle scored for Washington (5-5-1), which won for the first time in three games. Braden Holtby made 38 saves.


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Oilers highlights]


"It's nice to see guys smiling after games," Kuznetsov said. "We feel like we played well starting from the first period; we just gave up some goals. But then we scored that late goal (in the first period) that [Smith-Pelly] scored, and that's huge for us. After that, you could see we had a lot of energy, a lot of power, and it's just so nice to get those two points."

Patrick Maroon and Adam Larsson scored in the first period for Edmonton (3-6-1). Cam Talbot allowed four goals on 30 shots.

"Let's not kid ourselves, we're an eighth into the season. There's a lot of points that have gone by," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "You never get them back. They have the same value now as they do at the end of the year, but it's tough not only falling behind in the game, but it's tough falling behind in the season."

Video: WSH@EDM: Smith-Pelly scores first goal of the season

Maroon scored at 12:16 to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead, putting in a rebound after Holtby made the initial save from in close on a Connor McDavid backhand.

Larsson made it 2-0 at 17:55. The Oilers defenseman took a drop pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at the left boards, cut to the middle, and shot the puck past Holtby's blocker.

Smith-Pelly started the Capitals rally when he scored with 18 seconds left in the first to make it 2-1. He one-timed a cross-ice pass from Ovechkin past Talbot.

Eller tied the game 2-2 at 10:32 of the second period on a delayed penalty to Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse. With Holtby on the bench for an extra attacker, Eller took a pass from Madison Bowey in the right face-off circle and shot the puck past Talbot.

"In the second period, we were turning pucks over in transition and it led into their offense," Maroon said. "We had too many turnovers at our blue line, and it cost us the game tonight. We had the momentum in the first, and they took it right away from us."

Kuznetsov gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead 30 seconds into the third period, tipping a centering pass from Ovechkin by Talbot.

Washington concludes a three-game, Western Canada road trip at the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

"We needed that win to just feel a little bit comfortable," Ovechkin said. "I think the guys right now are going to enjoy it. Tomorrow's another big one. I don't think we have good success this year on back-to-backs, so it's going to be a big test for us."

Kuznetsov scored at 15:56 on an outstanding individual effort to put Washington up 4-2, and Beagle scored to make it 5-2 at 19:41 with Talbot pulled for an extra attacker.

"We talked about playing the right way, and I thought we played the right way," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "We battled through things, and we stayed with it, which was, to me, probably the main thing. We just stayed with it even though we fell down in the first period there, when I thought we were playing well."

Video: WSH@EDM: Eller knots the score with one-timer


Goal of the game

Kuznetsov's tiebreaking goal 30 seconds into the third period.

Video: WSH@EDM: Kuznetsov redirects Ovechkin feed for goal


Save of the game

Holtby stopping Matt Benning at 4:56 of the third period.


Highlight of the game

Kuznetsov's second goal at 15:56 of the third period.

Video: WSH@EDM: Kuznetsov evades defenders, tucks puck in


They said it

"It didn't come easy. Sometimes in the past, goals have been rolling in for us. Tonight, we had to work hard for it. It was a good way to win a game for us." -- Capitals forward Lars Eller


"I think we have to understand that we are only 10 games in. It's not the start that we wanted, but we have 72 games left. That's a long ways away. There is a lot of hockey left and there are a lot of teams that haven't got off to the starts that they wanted. We will battle out of it." -- Oilers captain Connor McDavid


Need to know

It was Ovechkin's first three-assist game since Nov. 2, 2014, against the Arizona Coyotes. … Holtby is 6-2-1 against the Oilers in his career. ... Edmonton forward Jussi Jokinen played his 900th NHL game. ... The Oilers were 0-for-5 on the power play. They have not scored a power-play goal in their past four games (0-for-12).


What's next

Capitals: At the Calgary Flames on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; SN360, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Oilers: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; SN1, TVA Sports, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)


Video: Kuznetsov scores twice in 3rd as Caps beat Oilers

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